The Private I: Privacy in a Public World (GRAYWOLF FORUM)

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9781555973131: The Private I: Privacy in a Public World (GRAYWOLF FORUM)
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The Private I: Privacy in a Public World, edited by Molly Peacock

These candid, daring, engaging, and decidedly literate writings address the dual question of how we find privacy in this day and age and how we lose it. Comtemporary writers from a wide array from backgrounds―among them Dorothy Allison, Jonathan Franzen, F. Gonzalez-Crussi, Wayne Koestenbaum, Yusek Komunyakaa, Wendy Lesser, Kathleen Norris, and Robin West―tackle the issue of privacy on many levels, including the global, communal, and very personal.

Specific essay topics include the implications of surveillance technology; teen web sites and the lives of the girls who create them; the culture of sexual relations in today's prisons; "Privacy in the Films of Lana Turner;" and the polarity of warm, sometimes claustrophobic, Latin communities versus their cold, sometimes isolated, North American counterparts.

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About the Author:

Molly Peacock, co-creator of the Poetry in Motion series (appearing in public transportation systems nationwide), is the author of How to Read a Poem and Start a Poetry Circle as well as a memoir, Paradise: Piece by Piece. She has also published collections of her award-winning poetry, which has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Poetry, and elsewhere. Peacock is a contributing editor for House and Garden.

From Publishers Weekly:

Poet and memoirist Peacock (Paradise, Piece by Piece) presents this ambitious but uneven anthology, fourth in Graywolf's Forum series. Its impressive roster includes Jonathan Franzen, Yusef Komunyakaa and Wendy Lesser. Though all 18 essays (three previously published) address the subject of privacy, they vary in approach, tone and readability some are focused and cogent, a few are disjointed, others are academic with lengthy footnotes. Dorothy Allison, Vivian Gornick and Kathleen Norris probe the topic most successfully. Allison tells of retreating to the "sanctuary of my own mind" to survive childhood abuse, while Norris good-naturedly recounts advantages and disadvantages of living privacy-free in the South Dakota boondocks, and Gornick succinctly weighs in "On the Question of Invaded Privacy in Memoir Writing," arguing that writers must tell the truth rather than worry about "what to reveal or conceal." Lesser-known contributors range from Josip Novakovich, who recounts his boyhood search for private spaces in repressive Croatia, to legal philosopher Anita Allen, who compares Bill Clinton's and Oscar Wilde's untruths about scandalous sexual relationships. Peacock and her husband, Joyce scholar Michael Groden, present back-to-back essays: Peacock reflects on "privacy and creativity," her mother and poets Anne Sexton and Elizabeth Bishop, mentioning Groden only briefly, while he considers his role as a "secondary character" in Peacock's memoir. Though not a wholly satisfying excursion into a hot issue, the volume contains challenging ideas and questions for those who want to pursue the topic in depth.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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